A direct order from the Chief of Naval Operation was nothing to trivial about. Captain Franz knows the consequences of disobeying the order – he had tried once and paid heavy penalty for it.
It was a year ago when he was leading the 9th Wolf Pack on a search & destroy run near to the coast of France. Intelligence by the SS Troops reveals the Allied was consolidating it’s naval power in one of the remote French ports and surgical strike by the U-Boats would be take the Allied forces by surprise.
Captain Franz was elected as the team leader to lead 5 Type III U-Boats to sneak into the port and destroy all available Allied ships. The journey from the U-Boat base in Norway was uneventful and Captain Franz and his Wolf Pack managed to reach the French port undetected.
However, before the mission can be carried out, Captain Franz received an urgent message from the Chief of Naval Operation to abort the mission and sail back to the base. No reasons were given but the strict adherence to the order was highlighted. With precious Allied naval boats on sight, Captain Franz hesitated – with a major and easy victory within his reach; he contemplated of disobeying the order to abort.
Disobeying the order to abort, he directed the first 3 U-Boats to attack the Allied ships whilst he and another standby at the exit of the port to catch whichever ships that might be escaping.
But something was not right – the Allied had moored their largest ships at the front whilst insignificant crafts were moored at the more secured areas. Why would the Allied forces put their larger ships at risk of a torpedo run? It did not make any sense.
Before he could react, he saw 2 of the U-Boats that he directed to attack exploded. Damn, the Allied ships were a decoy and the false information that has been passed by double agents to the SS was nothing but a trap set for the Wolf Pack.
Captain Franz ordered an immediate abort and retreat back to the base. Only then he realised that the insignificant boats was moored at more secured area of the port was submarine hunters – a new class of ships created for hunting down German U-Boats. Another 2 ships emerged from the Captain Franz’s U-Boat after lying low in the port’s misty terrain. The U-Boats seemed to be trapped! With 2 losses with none to the Allied, Captain Franz had to rethink his escape routes and his strategies to fend off the submarine hunters who now making considerable pace to catch up on the U-Boats.
Based on a previous intelligence report, Captain Franz ordered the remaining U-Boats to make their way north of the port where the waters are deeper and out of reach of the submarine hunter’s deadly anti-submarine mines. All U-Boats took an immediate deep sea dive which put them out of reach of the Allied ships. But they are not in safe waters yet – they need to make the journey back to their base in Norway where the seas are patrolled by the Reich’s bigger and powerful ships. The smaller submarine hunter ships don’t dare to follow pursuit in these waters.
Captain Franz ordered the speed to be slowed down and radio silence to be maintained until they are in safer waters. The U-Boats treaded the terrain of the sea floor precariously whilst making their way out from the French coastal waters. They were safe now. It was not long before they made contacts with a returning German 1936 Class destroyer, midway to their U-Boat base and was escorted all the way back.
Having to disobey a direct order that cost 2 U-Boats and its men, Captain Franz was not out of dangerous waters yet. Already there is word in the air that the Chief of Naval Operation is furious about Captain Franz’ act and is waiting for him at the Norway U-Boat base.
Captain Franz braves himself for the worst.
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